September 3rd, 2014

Fireworks Delight
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 9.36: Writing Instruction

Writing Excuses 9.36: Writing Instruction

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2014/08/31/writing-excuses-9-36-writing-instruction/

Key Points:
Can writing be taught? Yes! But they have to do all the hard work, they have to put the elbow grease into it.
What's in the toolbox? It starts with storytelling. Tell stories from your own life. Learn to think in stories. Then learn the elements, world creation, character creation, story concept, theme... Build on the shared narratives that we all hear and tell every day. Learn individual techniques, not everything at once -- character, world building, plotting, dialogue, scene setting.
Science fiction and fantasy writers need to learn that world building is not the story. "We all come to science fiction and fantasy for the world building, but we don't stay because of it." Character and plot trump setting.
Make sure the elements matter to the reader, that the reader likes the character, wants to spend time with them, cares about what happens to that character. Make them resonate, make them familiar, make the reader say, "I can see myself in this person." Avoid characters that are completely original, unlike anyone anywhere.
From the promo -- brainstorming a novel include how to create settings, how to build worlds, how to create characters, how to develop a plot, how to work with theme, how to create a treatment, how to create character voices. Also, how to create an outline.
What are the exercises a writer needs to practice? In Story Mastery One, there is an exercise on setting and bringing the setting to life. An exercise on how to have characters argue, to create natural sounding voices. Exercises on creating characters, including their exterior body, their clothes, their interior, their past, and their aspirations.
What's the balance between exercises and working on your book or story? Exercises should be usable in your book. They should serve as writing prompts for your book.
Should students bring material to class or start fresh? Best to start fresh. A story that's been workshopped to death is not a good basis for learning. You need to think about new things in new ways. Write a new dilemma scene, don't just use one you already wrote.
When you are practicing, don't worry about publishing it, don't worry about it being great. Give yourself the freedom to play with it and fail. Learn the principles.
15 minute writing sprints can unclog your writing and make it flow.
Learn to think of yourself as someone who can write great books, who can learn tools, you can build their own toolbox. "You are the product."
Set high expectations and push yourself.
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[Brandon] We are unfortunately out of time. Dave is someone else that I could listen to forever. But our writing prompt, I think, we actually have a writing prompt. I want you to do the 15 minute writing sprint. You can't stop, you've just got to go, and you can't just... You can't stop writing words.
[Howard] If it hurts, I am so sorry I gave Brandon that idea. But you're going to feel good about this pain.
[David] Do it. I agree.
[Brandon] You're out of excuses, now go write.
[Applause]
[Howard] Dave, thank you. Thank you.
  • Current Mood
    here we go!